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COVID-19: Close Down Parliament – ASEPA

Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) has called for the immediate closure of the house of the legislature(Parliament) and the mandatory self-quarantining of members and staff of the house who have tested positive for COVID-19.

ASEPA’s call follows media reports on Tuesday, 26 May 2020 suggesting that two MPs and 13 staff of parliament have tested positive for COVID-19.

A statement issued by ASEPA and signed by its Executive Director, Mensah Thompson, noted that following a discussion in the house of parliament on Wednesday, 27 May 2020, “it seems the reports that made rounds in the media space were very true contrary to the disclaimer issued by Madam Kate Addo of the Public Affairs unit.”

ASEPA, therefore, called for the “immediate closure of parliament for two weeks and a mandatory self-quarantining of all Members of Parliament and parliament staffs”.

According to ASEPA: “This would make way for the entire parliament to be fumigated extensively and the Chamber seriously disinfected to make it wholesome and habitable after the two-week period”, emphasising that “there are no Emergency Bills before parliament, all COVID-19 Bills have been duly approved and, so, we can afford to suspend Parliament for two weeks without any serious ramifications, all other parliamentary duties can be performed virtually.”

It further continued that the house of the legislature must be closed down immediately “to prevent cross infections” in the house and also “to prevent onward community transmission at the various constituencies where the MPs visit almost every weekend.”

ASEPA added that closing down parliament will also “prevent unnecessary financial burden on the State through needless by-elections if any MP loses their life to COVID-19.”

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